New Fantasy novel: Laurie Forest’s The Iron Flower

Vermont fantasy author Laurie Forest has a new book out: The Iron Flower, the second in her series, Black Witch Chronicles.

The first novel, The Black Witch, hit bookstores last year, about Elloren, a young woman believed to be the heir to Carnissa Gardner, legendary mage — The Black Witch —prophesied to save the world.

But Elloren begins to realize that her world, society and dreams — including study at the prestigious Verpax University, are … problematic. The book generated some controversy on Goodreads, after reviewers took issue with Forest’s approach to race and bigotry, saying that it was “racist, ableist and homophobic.”

This new installment continues Elloren’s journey, as they’re brought into a resistance movement. Here’s the full description:

Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs when they rescued a Selkie and freed a military dragon. The last thing they expected was to be thrust into a realm-wide underground resistance against Gardnerian conquest.

While the Resistance struggles to fight back against the harsh rulings of the Mage Council, more and more Gardnerian soldiers descend upon the University…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the nearby military base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm’s length, Lukas is determined to tie himself to her, still convinced that she is the heir to the power of the Black Witch, a legacy of magic that will decide the future of all Erthia. As his own magic calls out to her, seeking to awaken a dark force within, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe that she’s truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.

Caught between her growing feelings for the rebellious Yvan Guriel and the seductive power offered by Lukas, Elloren must find a way to stay true to what she knows is right and protect everyone she loves…even if that means protecting them from herself.

She just did a pair of events in Vermont, and will be embarking on a tour that sees stops in Chicago, Salt Lake, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, and New York City in the coming weeks.

John Goodrich Signing

Local author John Goodrich will be holding a signing for two of his books, Dark Draughts and Hag, next month at the Bennington Bookshop.

The signing will take place on Thursday, August 9th from 7PM to 8PM.

Here’s what the books are about:

Hag:

All David wanted was to rest and get better. He moved from Vermont to Boston to beat his cancer. Even before the boxes are unpacked, he and his best friend Sam notice an eerie presence in his new apartment building. The emaciated haunt is a roiling storm of fury with black iron claws and jagged metal teeth. She attacks David without reason or pity, leaving him in agony. Hag is a dark, brooding novel set in a blighted personal landscape. A story of deathless rage terrible love.

Dark Draughts:

Culled from nearly a decade of work, Dark Draughts is the first collection of John Goodrich’s short fiction. Discover a terrifying new god, and an old, well known one just as malicious. Encounter horror tropes broken and remade; dead and undead pharaohs, a compassionate ghoul, and a serial killer who discovers something darker than himself. Find out what happens to a man literally at war with himself. With stories set in Arkham, ancient Egypt, the blood-soaked battlefields of World War One, rural Vermont, and a hideous apocalyptic future, these stories encompass the terrors of the past as well as our fears for the future. Dark Draughts: Strong medicine for what ails us all.

RSVP here.

Here are the finalists for the 2018 Vermont Book Award

Vermont College has announced its finalists (via VPR) for the 2018 Vermont Book Award, an award that honors “work of outstanding literary merit by Vermont authors.” Winners for the award include poet Kerrin McCadden (2015), Major Jackson (2016), and Jensen Beach (2017).

This year’s finalists are:

  • The Bear and the Nightingale (Fiction) by Katherine Arden
  • Breaking Bread: A Baker’s Journey Home in 75 Recipes (CNF) by Martin Philip
  • Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray (CNF) by Adam Federman
  • Grand Canyon (Children’s Lit, Picture Book) by Jason Chin
  • Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time (Children’s Lit, YA fiction) by Tanya Lee Stone
  • Event Boundaries (Poetry) by April Ossmann
  • Selected Delanty (Poetry) by Greg Delanty

The books are nominated by a committee of independent bookstores in four categories: Children’s Literature, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, and Poetry. Their suggestions are whittled down by a panel of judges, and the winner of the award will be announced at the Vermont Book Award Gala in September. The winner gets a $5,000 cash prize.

Tickets are now on sale for Trekonderoga 2018

The Star Trek Original Series Set Tour of Ticonderoga, New York, has announced its next annual Trekonderoga, which will take place from August 24th through August 26th. Guests this year will include Karl Urban (McCoy), Robin Curtis (Lt. Saavik), and others. The entire schedule can be found here, and tickets are now on sale.

Some are pretty pricy, like the Leonard McCoy Ticket, which’ll run you $1500 (which includes a photo opp, signing and tour with Karl Urban.) The basic admission for the weekend is $65, which includes 3-days admission, a tour, and more.

Early Screenings for Ant-Man and the Wasp

The latest Marvel film is hitting theaters this week: The Ant-Man and the Wasp. After the bummer ending from Avengers: Infinity War, hopefully this will tide us over with a bit of humor until Captain Marvel and the next Avengers film hits theaters next year.

  • Bennington Cinemas, Bennington. 6:00pm and 8:30pm.
  • Bijou 4 Cineplex, Morrisville. 7:00pm.
  • Capitol Theater, Montpelier. 6:15pm and 9:00pm.
  • Essex Cinemas, Essex. 6:00pm (3D) and 8:45pm (2D)
  • Flagship Cinemas, Rutland. 7:10pm and 9:50pm.
  • Majestic 10, Williston. 6:00pm, 7:30pm, and 9:00pm.
  • Merrill Theaters, Burlington. 6:00pm and 8:30pm.
  • Palace 9 Cinemas, South Burlington. 6:00pm and 9:00pm.
  • Springfield Cinemas, Springfield. 6:30pm and 8:30pm.
  • Star Theater, St. Johnsbury. 7:00pm (2D) and 9:25pm (3D).
  • Stowe Cinemas, Stowe. 7:00pm (2D) and 9:15 (3D).
  • Sunset Drive-in, Colchester. Dusk.
  • Welden Theater, St. Albans. 7:00pm and 9:30pm.

Opening normally on Friday, July 6th:

  • Big Picture Theater, Waitsfield.
  • Latchis Theater, Brattleboro.
  • Middlebury Marquis, Middlebury.
  • Playhouse Theater, Randolph.
  • Village Picture Shows, Manchester Center.

Early screenings for Solo: A Star Wars Story

The Last Jedi might have hit theaters back in December, but 6 months later, there’s another Star Wars film to watch: Solo, A Star Wars Story. The reviews have thus far been pretty good, despite all of the problems and skepticism that has surrounded this movie.

Here’s where the film is coming out early on Thursday, May 24th:

  • Bennington Cinemas, Bennington.
  • Bijou Cineplex 4, Morrisville. 7:00PM.
  • Capitol Theater, Montpelier. 7:00PM.
  • Essex Cinemas, Essex. 7:00PM and 8:00PM.
    • The 501st Green Mountain Squad will be on hand for pictures.
  • Flagship Cinemas, Rutland. 7:00PM and 9:55PM.
  • Majestic 10, Williston. 6:00PM and 7:00PM.
    • The 501st Green Mountain Squad will be on hand for pictures.
  • Middlebury Marquis.
  • Merrill Roxy Theater, Burlington. 7:00PM.
  • Palace 9 Cinemas, South Burlington. 7:00PM.
  • Playhouse Theater, Randolph. 7:30PM.
  • Springfield Cinemas, Springfield. 7:00PM, 8:00PM and 9:30PM.
  • Star Theatre, St. Johnsbury.
  • Stowe Cinemas, Stowe. 700PM.
  • Welden Theatre, St. Albans. 7:00PM.

Opening on Friday, May 25th:

  • Sunset Drive-In, Colchester.
  • Village Picture Shows, Manchester Center.

Watch Deadpool 2 early!

The Merc with a Mouth is back for another outing: Deadpool 2 opens this week, and just about every theater in Vermont is screening it early.

Here’s where you can watch the film on Thursday, May 17th:

  • Bennington Cinemas, Bennington. 7:00 PM and 9:25 PM.
  • Big Picture Theater, Waitsfield. 6:30 PM.
  • Bijou 4, Morrisville. 7:00 PM.
  • Essex Cinemas, Essex. 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM.
  • Flagship Cinemas, Rutland. 7:00 PM and  9:40 PM.
  • Latchis Theater, Brattleboro. 7:00 PM and 9:10 PM.
  • Majestic 10, Williston. 7:00 PM, 8:00 PM and 9:00 PM. (The theater will also do a double feature starting at 4:40 PM.)
  • Merrill Roxy Cinema, Burlington. 7:00 PM.
  • Middlebury Marquis, Middlebury. 7:00PM. (The theater will also do a double feature starting at 4:30 PM.)
  • Palace 9 Cinemas, South Burlington. 7:00 PM.
  • Paramount Theater, Barre. 7:00 PM.
  • Springfield Cinemas, Springfield. 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM.
  • Star Theatre, St. Johnsbury. 7:00 PM.
  • Stowe Cinemas, Stowe. 7:00 PM.
  • Sunset Drive-in, Colchester. 8:45 PM and 10:15 PM.
  • Weldon Theater, St. Albans. 7:00 PM.

Opening on May 18th:

  • Village Picture Shows, Manchester Center.

William Shatner stopped by Ticonderoga’s fan-made Enterprise set

Captain on deck! This past weekend, Star Trek actor William Shatner stopped by Ticonderoga’s Star Trek: Original Series Set Tour, where he met fans and visited the replica sets that defined his career.

The set is the creation of James Cawley, who has recreated the USS Enterprise from blueprints. His fan-made sets are open for public tours, and will be home to a Star Trek fanfilm school. The event attracted over 1000 fans from around the world.

Help a member of the Guardian Legion recover from a devastating house fire

The Guardian Legion is a local cosplay group that focuses on characters from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Two of their members, Aaron and Kat returned home the other night to discover it on fire: they’ve lost everything, including one of their cats.

Their friends have put together a GoFundMe campaign to help them get back on their feet. They’re looking to raise $3000, and have already raised about a third of that. You can contribute here.